Making a film is such a colossal process that it is perhaps inevitable that a few errors will slip through the cracks. But some are more ridiculous than others. From fake babies to disappearing tattoos, here’s a look at 40 movie mistakes you might find hard to believe made the final edit.
40. Missing maze in The Shining
The imposing hedge maze that proves to be Jack’s downfall is one of the pivotal settings in The Shining. As we see in several scenes, it’s only a few footsteps away from the spooky Overlook Hotel. And yet during the swooping exterior shots at the start of Stanley Kubrick’s classic, it’s nowhere to be seen.
39. Helping hand in Jurassic Park
One of the most memorable scenes in the original Jurassic Park sees Tim and Lex being chased through the kitchen by several velociraptors. And as if the kids weren’t already on the back foot, it turns out that the dinosaurs had human help, too. Yes, one of the prehistoric creatures is seen being propped up by a crew member’s hand as it bursts through the entrance.
38. iPhone in Bernie
The history of the iPhone doesn’t appear to be a specialist subject for director Richard Linklater. In his 2007 black comedy Bernie, several characters are spotted using the very modern method of communication. Only problem is, the film is set in the mid-1990s, a full decade before Steve Jobs unleashed Apple’s masterpiece on an unsuspecting world.
37. Missing octopus in The Goonies
You could be forgiven for thinking that you’d briefly blacked out while watching The Goonies thanks to its puzzling closing scene. When asked by a journalist about the scariest part of the boys’ treasure hunt, Data replies, “the octopus.” The sea creature in question only featured in a scene that didn’t make the final cut.
36. Changing shrimp cocktail in Ocean’s Eleven
The early 2000s Ocean’s Eleven remake sees the gang pull off one of Hollywood’s most entertaining heists. But just as impressive is the crockery-based magic trick that Brad Pitt’s Rusty appears to pull off. The character is first seen tucking into a shrimp cocktail at the Bellagio from a glass but when the angle changes he’s spotted enjoying it from a plate.
35. Typo in The Dark Knight Rises
Seems like The Gotham Times newspaper is in serious need of a new sub-editor. In the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Caped Crusader trilogy The Dark Knight Rises, Batman reads a newspaper with a front-page story about a havoc-wreaking cat burglar. But the accompanying headline somehow misspells the word “heist.”
34. Accidental extras in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The golden rule for film crew members is to remain out of shot at all times. Unfortunately, those working on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest don’t appear to be particularly good at hiding. In the basketball scene where Martini and McMurphy trade verbal insults, you can quite clearly see several behind-the-scenes men standing behind the court’s fence.
33. Lamborghini poster in Dallas Buyers Club
You’d have to be a bit of a petrolhead to recognize this anachronistic error from Oscar favorite Dallas Buyers Club. Behind Ron Woodroof’s desk there’s a poster of a Lamborghini Aventador, a supercar that only went into production in 2011. The tough-tackling AIDS drama was, of course, set in the 1980s.
32. Miming cleaner in Quantum of Solace
The extra responsible for this movie mishap probably shouldn’t include sweeping on his list of talents. In the offending footage in Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s James Bond sits on a motorcycle in front of some maintenance workers brushing the dockyard. However, one of these orange-trousered men never actually touches the ground with his bristles.
31. Apple investment in Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump does everything from inspire Elvis Presley to expose the scandal known as Watergate in Robert Zemeckis’ crowd-pleaser. But the lovable hero’s most impressive feat is undoubtedly investing in a company that didn’t even exist. In one particular scene set in 1975, Forrest gets a letter about his shares in Apple. However, the tech company only founded a year later and was only floated on the stock exchange in 1980.
30. Broken lamp in Spider-Man
After discovering he now has superpowers early on in Spider-Man, Peter Parker begins testing them out in his bedroom. And fixing lamps appears to be in his wheelhouse. After breaking one, Peter’s aunt comes to see what caused such a racket. However, by the time she opens the door the lamp is miraculously fully intact.
29. Starbucks in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino made a catalog of period mistakes with his unashamed love letter to Tinseltown. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place at the end of the 1960s. Yet it still featured a Starbucks and the Pussycat Theatre, both of which only arrived in the 1970s. Even more unforgivable was the sight of a numbered exit ramp which didn’t exist until 2002.
28. Self-repairing Porsche in Commando
Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick Commando isn’t set in the future. But you could be forgiven for thinking so, considering that self-repairing cars appear to be a thing in its macho world. Having been severely damaged after a particularly thrilling car chase, Arnie’s yellow Porsche is shown in the following scene as good as new.
27. Art department bin in Independence Day
While ranting about the state of the planet in apocalyptic blockbuster Independence Day, Jeff Goldblum’s character David knocks a bin over in a drunken stupor. And he accidentally breaks the fourth wall while doing so. Indeed, eagle-eyed viewers may well have spotted that the bin in question is stamped with the term ‘Art Dept.’
26. Wrongly marked gravestone in It’s A Wonderful Life
Either Clarence doesn’t know how old his brother was in It’s A Wonderful Life or the film’s props team can’t quite add up. In the festive classic, Henry Travers’ character tells George that his sibling tragically passed away aged just nine. Yet on his gravestone we see he was born in 1911 and died in 1919.
25. Pretend water-drinker in Legally Blonde
It’s unlikely this offending extra’s thirst was quenched during her scene in Legally Blonde. The woman in question can be seen “drinking” from the water fountain in front of Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle. But if you look closely, nothing is coming out of the nozzle, meaning she’s essentially doing nothing but breathing with her mouth open.
24. Grimacing dead man in Total Recall
They say it’s easy to play dead on camera. But tell that to the poor man who had to pretend to be a corpse being used as a makeshift human shield by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall. Every time a pretend round of ammunition detonates on his body to simulate a bullet strike, the unfortunate extra can’t help but grimace in pain.
23. Refilling popcorn in Mean Girls
We’d quite like to buy the kind of popcorn upon which Damian and Janis can be seen snacking in classic teen comedy Mean Girls. The pair end up spilling it all over the place when they are scared accidentally by Cady. However, the bowl is once again full in the very next shot.
22. Self-fixing windshield in Twister
The red van being driven by Bill Paxton’s storm chaser in 1990s action flick Twister proves to be far more hurricane-proof than anyone could possibly imagine. In one particular scene its windshield is quite clearly smashed by some flying debris. Yet in the next shot it’s somehow in one piece.
21. YouTube reference in The Hurt Locker
It may have broken ground as the first Best Picture Oscar winner to be directed by a woman. But The Hurt Locker wasn’t without its glaring errors. In one particular scene, two soldiers mention the video clip that an Iraqi is about to upload to YouTube. However, the video-sharing platform was only created in 2005, a year after the war drama takes place.
20. Kid predicts gunshot in North by Northwest
They say never work with animals or children. And Alfred Hitchcock discovered that was true to his cost while filming 1959’s North by Northwest. Indeed, just before a gunshot is fired in the cafeteria scene at Mount Rushmore, a young extra can be seen holding his hands over his ears. The theory is that the boy did so having suffered the loud sound in previous takes. But in the film, it looks like he can predict the future.
19. Croissant turns into pancake in Pretty Woman
Food and drink are notoriously tricky when it comes to film continuity. A full wine glass will often turn into a near empty one, or a half-eaten sandwich will return to its original state in the blink of an eye. But it’s rare for a foodstuff to change completely. And yet that’s what happens in Pretty Woman, when Julia Roberts is seen enjoying a croissant that somehow becomes a pancake in a matter of seconds.
18. Stormtrooper hits head in Star Wars
This is an all-time classic for a reason. The poor extra who quite visibly hits his head while dressed up as a stormtrooper in A New Hope has gone down in Star Wars infamy. In fact, the incident was even referenced in a later chapter of the franchise when Jango Fett bumps his head in 2002’s Attack of the Clones. George Lucas has suggested that this particular type of clumsiness is a natural stormtrooper trait.
17. The gas canister in Gladiator
Historical movies probably give continuity workers more headaches than any other genre. Get just one prop a year out of date and the message boards will come out in force. But there are some anachronistic items that you would think would be easy to spot. Set in 180 AD, Gladiator proved that isn’t always the case when during a fallen chariot scene it quite clearly featured the very modern sight of a gas canister.
16. The overhead plane in Troy
Blockbuster from 2004 Troy is set even further back in time than Gladiator, in the late 12th century BC to be precise. And its anachronistic error is even more glaring. During one particular shot featuring Brad Pitt’s leading man, an entirely out-of-place object can be seen hovering above in the clear blue sky behind him. Is it a bird? No. Is it a plane? Much to the embarrassment of its makers, yes.
15. The cowboy in Pirates of the Caribbean
It’s not quite clear why a cowboy hat can be seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’s closing scene. Not only does the headwear seem hopelessly out of place in such a seafaring adventure, but it also seems an odd choice of attire for the crew member who presumably walked into shot by mistake. Sadly, the blooper has yet to inspire a Pirates vs. Cowboys spin-off.
14. The in-shot cameraman in Bad Boys
Not to be confused with the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence vehicle from the mid-1990s, Bad Boys is only really notable for two things. One is the first leading role for future Oscar winner Sean Penn. The second is perhaps one of cinema’s all-time greatest blunders. During one particular fight scene in the 1983 coming-of-age flick, the camera pans round to the baying audience. Unfortunately, this audience just happens to include another cameraman filming from the other side right in the front row.
13. The mannequin in Casino
Some less kind critics may argue that some of Robert De Niro’s latter-day performances could have come from a mannequin. But in Martin Scorsese’s Casino, viewers saw him literally replaced by one. Although we see De Niro’s character Ace get into the car, it’s crystal clear that the figure sitting in the driving seat just a second before it explodes isn’t of the human variety.
12. The fake baby in American Sniper
“It looked like something from Alien,” joked Sienna Miller about the plastic baby that briefly turned Clint Eastwood’s serious war drama into an unintentional comedy. According to American Sniper screenwriter Jason Hall, the cast and crew were forced to improvise the offending scene with a doll when the intended real human baby came down with a fever. Unfortunately, neither the star holding it, Bradley Cooper, or the camera crew could hide this fact.
11. The magical light switch in Grease
Musical from 1978 Grease may be best known for its impossibly infectious songs, leather jackets and blatantly adult cast posing as high-school teens. But it’s also responsible for a blooper that suggests that the local soda shop waitress possesses magic powers. As the lady in question walks down the stairs with her hands full, she attempts to switch off the lights with her elbow. Yet despite missing her target by a good six inches, the light still miraculously comes on.
10. The reappearing wing mirror in Clueless
There are also some magical goings-on in one of the most famous scenes from the much-loved Clueless. During Cher’s disastrous driving test, the high school socialite sends her sideview mirror flying off when she bumps into a stationary vehicle. Yet when we see her still causing chaos on the roads in the next scene, said wing mirror has miraculously reappeared.
9. The changing cuffed hands in Reservoir Dogs
Either Kirk Baltz’s Marvin Nash is some kind of aspiring escapologist or Quentin Tarantino failed to spot this glaring error in his directorial debut. In one particular scene, the kidnapped policeman lies on the ground having been handcuffed from the back. But when Mr. Blonde gets him ready for the film’s famously gruesome torture scene by moving him onto a chair, Nash’s handcuffs are mysteriously at the front of him.
8. The premature bullet holes in Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino’s iconic follow-up also featured a famous blooper during one of its most violent scenes. After delivering his biblical speech, Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules and his partner-in-crime, John Travolta’s Vincent, are shot at. Miraculously, the surprise assailant misses his target and is subsequently gunned down himself. Jules talks of “divine intervention” as he inspects the wall where the bullets are nestled. However, the bullet holes were already in place before any shots were fired.
7. The slip of the tongue in Charlie’s Angels
Drew Barrymore obviously found it difficult to separate character from actor while filming 2000 box office hit Charlie’s Angels. In one of the film’s more action-packed sequences, Barrymore’s Dylan and Lucy Liu’s Alex go up against Crispin Glover’s creepy villain. But when the former child actress attempts to swing her co-star around to pull off a cool move, she is obviously shouting “Lucy” rather than “Alex.”
6. The parked gearshift in Dirty Dancing
Turns out that Johnny Castle’s skills extend beyond the dancefloor in 1980s classic Dirty Dancing. As well as sweeping Jennifer Grey’s Baby off her feet in the retro romance, Patrick Swayze’s leading man can also defy the mechanics of driving. In this particular scene, Johnny can be seen hitting the road in his 1957 Chevy despite the fact that the vehicle’s gearshift is clearly in park position.
5. The missing chess pieces in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
The fact that the Ace Ventura sequel was rush-released into cinemas just a year after the original perhaps explains this particular bit of sloppy continuity. The blooper occurs in the scene where Jim Carrey’s pet detective begins exposing the man who hired him. Simon Callow’s villainous Vincent Cadby is seen sitting in front of a fully equipped chessboard. But the chess pieces then disappear completely, and return just as quickly, from one cut to the next.
4. The missing tattoo in She’s All That
Played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Taylor Vaughan appears to have been conned by her tattoo artist in She’s All That. The narcissistic high schooler, who dumps Freddie Prinze Jr.’s jock in the popular teen movie, can clearly be seen getting a heart inked on her shoulder in one scene. But when she attends the prom in her backless dress, the tattoo is nowhere to be found.
3. The running extra in 10 Things I Hate About You
She’s All That wasn’t the only 1999 teen movie to feature such a basic mistake. In 10 Things I Hate About You, a student is seen running in the background to get help when the school’s gym teacher accidentally gets shot by an arrow. But she didn’t make it very far. Once the extra thinks she’s out of shot, she simply stops dead in her tracks and looks directly toward the lens.
2. Girl hit in the face in Willy Wonka
It may seem slightly cruel to laugh at a child getting accidentally hit in the face. But it’s hard not to raise at least a smile after watching the poor little girl bravely take a smack in the chops in Willy Wonka. The youngster is struck during the “Candy Man” song when sweet shop owner Bill lifts up the counter she proves to be dangerously close to. Yet ever the pro, she barely flinches and continues with the scene.
1. Will Smith’s swollen face in Hitch
One of the most memorable moments from 2005 rom-com Hitch is when Will Smith has one almighty allergic reaction to seafood. The eponymous main character sees the entire right side of his face dramatically swell up during a date with Eva Mendes’ gossip columnist. However, this is no ordinary allergic reaction. Later on that same night, the swelling has magically switched to the complete opposite side.